The Power and Risk of Scaffolds for English Language Learners Institute: A Focus on Fiction Reading Grades K-5

Monday, January 14 - Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Grade: K-5
Featuring: Amanda Hartman, Hareem Atif Khan, Marie Mounteer, and Shana Frazin

The TCRWP is excited to offer an institute devoted to supporting English Language Learners as they tackle the special challenges of fiction reading. The institute is designed to arm you with a variety of strategies for helping students at varied levels of English language acquisition thrive within your fiction units. Come ready to think deeply about the ways that the scaffolds you provide to students can give them access to critical reading work and strengthen their language skills, and also about the ways scaffolds can hold kids back and restrict their independence.

A big part of the institute will focus on ways you can tailor and adapt your whole-class teaching to support the language goals and the reading goals of your students. Presenters will introduce you to an English Language Development toolkit, and you’ll practice using it to study key minilessons from the Units of Study and make decisions about which parts to cut, revise, and emphasize to maximize opportunities for comprehensible input and for kids to use oral language. Presenters will coach you as you plan read alouds to support oral language development and as you experiment with different methods for engaging kids with texts. You’ll consider ways to provide enough support and access to your read alouds, while still providing opportunities for all kids to do some heavy lifting.

Collaboration is key for English language learners. You’ll hear about the way that partnerships can boost kids’ language input and output. You’ll consider the scaffolds partnerships might benefit from, as well as about times those scaffolds might become restrictive. You’ ll hear ways to structure your libraries to especially pro vide kids with high - interest, high-quality books.

Assessment will be a key part of the institute. You will learn methods of quick, effective, on-the-run data collection as well as ways to plan for predictable supports using that data. In addition to working on whole class teaching, you will consider the role of component work within a fiction reading unit. You’ll experience small group work, including some structures you likely know and use, such as guided reading and strategy groups, as well as less familiar structures, including hybrid small groups that tap into partnership conversations in order to deepen their level of comprehension.

Even though this day focuses on fiction, the strategies and methods you’ve honed will transfer beautifully over to any unit you teach. There will be time to consider how you can harness what you’ve learned to support English Language Learners within other units of study.

Expect to develop a series of plans that provide decreasing scaffolds across time and to learn how to guide your students as they engage with fascinating fiction texts, dive into deep conversations about their books, and strengthen their language skills.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will take place at the Teachers College campus.
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street
New York, NY